Actual Life at 30 vs. How I Imagined My Life Would Be at 30

When I was 20 I had this whole idea on how my life would play out. Marriage, babies, real job at a news station… stuff like that. I was under the impression by 25 or 26 and definitely by the rip old age of 30 I would feel like a mature adult.  Well, like most things in life, it just doesn’t go like you planned.

1. Marriage- At 20: I thought I needed to be married by 25. You go to college, meet someone, get married and have kids.  Being from a small farm town getting married young was just the way I thought it went. Well, I didn’t meet my prince charming at college and definitely didn’t meet prince charming back in my small hometown. At 25: I realized it absolutely does not matter what age you get married as long as you’re loving life. So I moved to the city and realized how fun and amazing life could be without being married. After a few years and tons of fun later  when I wasn’t looking I met my perfect man and life changed for the better. At 30: I’m married and at a great place in life.  I’m so thankful I never settled for anything less than the best.

2. Babies- At 20: I thought for sure I wanted 3 kids and wanted to have them by 28. Come to find out you don’t have to have babies by 25! My future husband and I were having so much fun traveling, chilling, and doing our own thing that I thanked my lucky stars every time I got my img_7514period.   At 25: I realized I was not ready to have the responsibility that a child took. Waiting to have a baby was perfect. We got to see so many places and have so many adventures that we never could have had with a baby. Getting drunk at the Hard Rock in Venice, over indulging till 3am in Rome with long-lost friends, tapas in Barcelona at all hours of the night  just couldn’t happen if we would have had a baby. At 30: Our baby is an amazing blessing, but now I’m thinking maybe only two kids. We have a different kind of fun now. A kind of fun that consist of being at our house by 9pm so Bradley can sleep and we can finally just chill.

3. A Real Job- Go figure…I’m a stat… one more person that went to college for A LOT of money, graduated, and doesn’t work in that field. At 20: I thought broadcast journalism was going to get me rich and on TV. hahaha… Blogging is as close to journalism as I’ve gotten. I did work for a bit at a new station and didn’t make enough to support myself so I decided it wasn’t my thing. At 25: I was still trying to figure out what I wanted to do in life. So I went back to school and spent a lot more money. (dumb) At 30: I blog. I am starting a home decor business. I create art.  I finally realized I should turn my passion into a career. I’m lucky enough to not have to rely on a paycheck so I can spend my time starting a business and taking care of Bradley.

4. I Blog- At 20: Never did I ever think I would be a blogger… one of those people who think what they have to say is soooo important that they randomly write it all down for people to absorb. At 25: I thought blogging was for self-important douchers, (and maybe it is).  At 30: I’m blogging. In fact, I have two different blogs. I blog a lot. One is for annoying mom stuff and the other is for interior design and creating stuff. (www.pearlaine.net)

5. Being a Stay-At-Home Mom- At 20: I never thought I would be a stay-at-home mom. I have always been a hard worker, wanted to make a lot of moneyimg_7602 and be successful. Now I’m not saying being a stay-at-home mom is not hard work, because it is. It’s not watching tv all day and chilling, it’s constant and not relaxing. When she naps I clean, do laundry and try to get some stories and creative stuff done. There is no relaxing.   At 30: I’m a stay-at-home mom trying to start a career from Germany. Stay-at-home moms work a lot, they just don’t get paid in money… and I like getting paid in money. When I refinish a piece of furniture or paint a really awesome picture or find the perfect throw pillows for my store I get this excitement that I can not explain. It’s this amazing sense of accomplishment and I LOVE that feeling. I NEED that feeling. At this point in life, being an expat, I am not in the position to go to a job everyday, but eventually I will. I love raising my daughter and know I do a better job than a babysitter, but I love that feeling of making money too. So maybe At 35: I will be a money-making machine and Bradley will be at school.

6. Living in GermanyAt 20: ummmm…. No. I never had any desire to live abroad because I love America. At 30: ummmm. Yes. I still limg_7118ove America, but wouldn’t change the experience of living in Germany and Sweden for anything. Living abroad really opened my eyes to so many different ways of life. Some I like and some I hate. Seeing and doing everything foreign countries have to offer will help me in every part of my life.

Preparing Yourself For a Long Car Trip and Vacation With a Small Child

Let’s face it… after you have a kid vacations are just not the same. For the better or for the worse taking a kid on vacation changes the entire trip from the get go.

The car ride to a destination and the actual vacation with a young child can be a relaxing, refreshing experience or it can be an aggravating, stressful blur. The best way to ensure a smooth, enjoyable car ride and vacation is to be prepared, cross your fingers, and hope for a pleasant child that will chill and let you enjoy yourself.

We recently made the 5-hour drive to Switzerland for a quick vacation. It was a last-minute trip with one night to pack everything we would need for a three-day stay and a combined ten hours of driving with a 14-month-old and a dog.  I didn’t have my usual 3 to 4 days to start preparing everything so I was more stressed than usual. This isn’t our first rodeo though and with some experience I have learned some of the best ways to have the most enjoyable, relaxing trip you can have with a young child.

Tips For Taking a Car Trip and Vacation With a Small Child

 

Try to start getting ready a couple of days before the trip with lists…then use the lists.

Using lists helps to ensure nothing will be forgotten. (An added plus to having a list is getting to check stuff off the list.)  What toys or stuffed animal does your baby need? What food and snacks will she need?  Bottle cleaner… dish soap…..  Put it all on the list and it hopefully won’t be forgotten.

Organize the car so anything you need is easy to access.

Food pouches, snacks, and baby toys should be easily reached. Having them behind the driver’s seat makes it easy for the passenger to reach without having to unbuckle the seatbelt and hear that annoying f-ing beeping sound that can really drive someone crazy. The beeping on top of struggling to get a food pouch from a weird part of the car, personally, makes me snap and that is unenjoyable for everyone.

Pack a small cooler with milk of choice.

Since I’m not a fan of breastfeeding and think breastfeeding a kid over the age of one is just freaking weird my 14-month-old is drinking organic cow milk. I’ve done a lot of research on the milk I feed my daughter and ensure that the cow or cows it comes from haven’t been pumped full of hormones and antibiotics. I like to pack my own milk to be safe. I’m also not risking a change in milk upsetting her stomach causing her not to sleep and causing me to be tired, grumpy and an all around bitch.

Bring a Pack n’ Play and if there isn’t room for a Pack n’ Play bring a sheet and blankets.

Hotels often charge for the use of their Pack n’ Play, so save some money and bring one from home. I’m super uncomfortable with the thought of how many toddlers and babies have pissed or thrown up on the hotel’s Pack n’ Play and how well it got disinfected.  Can’t bring your own?  Sheets from home are easy to pack, take up a small amount of room, and are clean…usually.

Bring a small fan or sound machine.

One of the worst parts about vacationing with a toddler is having to be super quite at bedtime. Unless you get two hotel rooms you’re gonna be stuck with a sleeping baby and having to tiptoe around the room at 8pm. Any background noise, like a fan or sound machine, might help her sleep and you to be able to watch some TV or do other fun adult activities… quietly.

iPad.

I’m not one of those ‘no screen time’ moms, but even if you are for the sake of your trip bring an iPad with kid games and shows. Throw Baby Einstein (or another educational show) on, give your kid a Ritz Cracker and maybe you’ll have enough time to enjoy a long lunch and a few glasses of wine. It’s vacation… you NEED it.

Over pack

The one positive to a car trip is that you aren’t charged for how many bags you have. One bag or five bags it doesn’t make a difference. When you are going to a country like Switzerland where everything is WAY overpriced it’s nice to not have to go buy diapers that cost 2-3 times more than they do in Germany or America.

Also, weather is pretty unpredictable so pack for the cold, pack for the warm, make sure you won’t be stuck unprepared for what nature can throw at you. Pack anything you might need… bags are free!

bbandme-travel-with-baby

 

In the end, don’t over stress about all the shit you need to pack and what might be forgotten, most places you visit have a place to buy what you need.

It’s vacation. Have some wine and chill as much as your crazy baby will let you.